The closing of a year and the beginning of a new one. A few more things to remember, like I said we not going back and nobody really want to, but their are a few, who don’t know any better and are still embracing the old paradigm. what we really want is the freedom to create and get our fair share, to control of our rights. The label won’t give up their control over the artists, and fair share was out the question. So they tried to hold onto what they had while outsiders came in and started a whole new paradigm/model… we’re not going back.
In my last newsletter, remember me telling you a record company is not in the business of building acts? They just want that quick money that they can put in their pockets and don’t have to pay out that much. For example, look at the rappers — most of those guys don’t care. Now don’t get me wrong, I like rappers, and making music surely beats working or going to school. But what they fail to do is look at big picture, the long haul, the “where will I be ten years from now, am I building my house on a strong foundation?”. In the new world, music is not that foundation. There was time when music could guarantee a middle class lifestyle and money in the bank.
What’s happened to music? I really don’t know. I can only tell you what I think. Back in the day when I was doing sessions, the songwriters (who were sometimes also the artists) would come into the session together. The writer would sing the song and ask the musicians to find a groove. We would play around with it until we came up with an arrangement. This was called instant creativity, the artist (writer) and the musicians working together. Over the years they stopped doing it this way and started doing it by committee. What I mean you have to do it the way the committee wanted it done, they decided how the tune should sound. They started tailoring music to what they wanted you to buy and hear. They took creativity away from the artist and started treating music like a commodity. That was the beginning of the downfall. Music is not a commodity, no matter how hard they try.
This business was built on love and the belief in music. As the industry grew, more outsiders who did not have the same passion and love of music took over. They were in it for what they could profit from it. They wanted quick and fast money. This is what happen to the business I love dearly. There may be those of you who think differently. Please share your thoughts with us.
As for songwriters, please remember when you copyright your song, it gives you certain rights that can’t be take away from you. Only you can assign these rights to another party:
1- The right to reproduce 2- right to derivative 3- to distribute copies 4- to perform publicly 5- display work publicly.
When you sign up with a label you assign them those rights, each one of these rights are money-makers, and as a businessman in the new music world you must know these things. This is how you going to make it, knowing your rights.
I almost forgot to tell you this, for all of you old school songwriters and if anyone in your family were songwriters and if you’re the heir to his rights or executor or next-of-kin for music written after 1978 it’s worth looking into copyrights terminating- post 1977 you might be able to recapture your rights back that means you can renegotiate a new deal with the publisher or assign it to another publisher or control it yourself. All of this is very complicated, so please contact an attorney who’s knowledgeable in the copyrights area.
Stay Hungry and Be Aware.
P.S There will always be money made in music!
Downloads of the Month: New Releases from Bill Curtis and Friends w/ The Fatback Band
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